Getting Better Grades: Tips & Tricks
I was inspired by reading Jenna Lombardi’s recent blog post
to “Notes from a PA Student
” at ADVANCE
’s website as she begins to study for her boards. As many of you know, in addition to working in the ER, I also teach anatomy and physiology at the college level. Students are always asking me about ways to study and ways to decrease test anxiety.
This week I wanted to highlight a few podcasts and websites with tips and tricks on how to study. So if you are taking boards or just looking for ways to retain more information, you will pick up a few quick tips below.
Personally, my favorite study techniques are using flashcards and forming study groups. Both can be highly effective techniques if done properly. The list below highlights some podcasts that may be appropriate for you, while others may be appropriate for younger students such as your children.
Podcast: ‘Wired Study Tips’
This is a nice mix of audio and video podcasts from Texas A&M University lasting about 3 to 7 minutes each, with tips and tricks to help you study better. The target audience is college level, but the information applies to everyone.
Access “Wired Study Tips” through iTunes here: http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/tamu-public.1449877907.01449877921
Podcast: ‘Study Partner’
This podcast from the Tennessee Department of Education may be appropriate for younger children or those who have never taken a study skills course. It covers topics such as memory techniques, how to answer essay questions, and active listening techniques. As an adult learner, you may find this podcast really basic, but consider it for your children or nieces and nephews.
Access “Study Partner” through iTunes here: http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/tbr.k12.edu.1685883517.01685883519
Website: ‘How To Study’
This article by Ronald C. Blue at the University of Oregon’s website gives some great tips on how to survey a textbook before reading, how to actively read and take notes, the use of 3x5 cards, reviewing materials and the use of audio to reinforce topics. It’s a one-page summary that is worth reading, especially if you struggle with taking notes and reading textbooks.
Starting a Study Group
I agree with Jenna that one of the best methods to study is starting a study group. Originally, I wasn’t a fan of study groups, but as the level of difficulty in college increased, I found study groups very effective. Things like role-playing, selecting topic “directors” and creating competitive games are excellent ways to have fun while learning and studying together. Below is a list of several web links with information about how to form and effectively run a study group that you may find helpful.
• Why a Study Group?
• How to Form an Effective Study Group
• How to Form a Study Group
• How to Form a Successful Study Group: Tips and Strategies
I have had a number of students approach me about “test anxiety,” and I think it can be a combination of past experiences and being unprepared for tests that contribute to the anxiety. However, I’m not sure. Several people have asked me about creating a workshop and/or publication covering study skills, test preparation and test anxiety. If you have experience in these areas and are interested in participating in such a venture, please let me know. Also, please feel free to post additional web links or information to the blog post that you think others may find helpful.